Archive for Star Wars

Anywhere But Here, Episode 97 – Tirades, Teaser Trailers & Trolling Trolls

Posted in Podcast with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2014 by Tom Austin-Morgan

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On this week’s podcast Ant and Tom rail against UKIP getting into power in the Rochester and Strood by-election, this is a topic that was hotly discussed on Tom’s Facebook account recently as the ex-UKIP deputy minister made some rather bold statements about the gay ‘community’.

Black Friday hit the UK in a big way this year and Christmas shoppers from all over the country started hitting each other too. This abomination of capitalist greed is dissected by the guys as they try to make sense of this new ‘tradition’.

An interesting question from Robbie Polanco, after the dream jobs episode from last week, sparks some debate over how much Ant and Tom would want to be paid to podcast as a job, with some interesting results. How much would any other podcasters want to be able to do what you do full-time?

The guys also take a look at the latest teaser trailer to be released for some of next years biggest blockbuster franchises; Star Wars The Force Awakens and Jurassic World. Is that rollerball droid the new Jar-Jar and did JJ Abrams take a scene from Spaceballs and drop it into the teaser trailer? Tom saw the latest Hunger Games movie last night – The Mockingjay Part 1 – and has some muted thoughts on it.

Ant closes the show out on a lighter tone: A girl messages a troll’s Mum to warn her that her son has been sending inappropriate messages.


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Anywhere But Here, Episode 94 – Remembrance, Robbery & Really Bad Titles

Posted in Podcast with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2014 by Tom Austin-Morgan

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On this Remembrance Sunday episode of the Anywhere But Here podcast Ant and Tom start of by playing a Wilfred Owen poem, Anthem for Doomed Youth, as read by Sean Bean… because he has an awesome voice. This is followed by a couple of war stories, one of which fits very well with the Anywhere But Here theme.

It’s also 25 years, to the day, that the Berlin Wall was taken down. Well done David Hasselhoff for single-handedly sorting that one out!

Ant and Tom get back into the swing of things by highlighting some other news, including a Chinese woman who spent a whole week in KFC after being dumped by her boyfriend and a British robber who left his phone at the crime scene with a picture of himself as his wallpaper. If you know any stories of bungled robberies let us know on Facebook, Twitter or abhpod@gmail.com.

Eventually they get round to the regular geek stuff like Gotham, Flash, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Game of Thrones & The Walking Dead. They also talk about the not-so-great title of the 7th Star Wars film: The Force Awakens. However, it turns out most of the titles of the previous 6 films are all a bit pony too.

Get in touch with us:

Website – abhpod.com

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Review: The Lego Movie

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by Tom Austin-Morgan

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Lego is one of the most successful brands in the world, starting life in the shed of Danish carpenter, Ole Kirk Christiansen – who set up the company in 1949. The company has expanded ever since, spilling out into theme parks, lucrative movie tie-ins, computer games and now a full-length feature film.

The plot focusses on Emmet, a regular construction worker who builds things in a team and always follows the instructions until, one day, he stumbles upon a group of super-builders who are fighting against the tyranny of Lord Business, who controls the Lego world with instructions that the populace follow in complete obedience.

This is the thrust of the movie; don’t be constrained by the instructions, use your imagination and you can create what you want. Which is, kind of, the point of Lego. And, why wouldn’t a Lego movie be about anything else? Well, for a start, it could have been about anything. Literally. But instead, this is a very formulaic, paint-by-numbers, nuts-and-bolts film that is pretty devoid of any real soul.

Understandably, the calls of “but it’s a kids film” will be flung my way, but it could have been made a much more inspirational story and have a slightly more likable character at the centre of the action. Emmet, voiced by Chris Pratt, is fine and lovable when he’s playing by the rules, unaware of the control asserted on his world by Will Ferrell’s Lord Business. Emmet is upbeat and fun-loving, but when he is recruited, wrongly, but the master builders, led by Vitrvius (Morgan Freeman)among assorted heroes such as Batman (Will Arnett) and love interest, Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Emmet turns overly reluctant and a little whiny. This is overcome by the end of the film, but doesn’t detract from his character’s personality in general.

The Lego computer games are peppered with sly bits of humour and there are moments in this film that elicits laughter, but not enough to raise it into the big leagues of Pixar or even DreamWorks.  The funniest moment for me involved the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, involving cameos from Anthony Daniels as C3PO and Billy Dee Williams as Lando, but not Harrison Ford as Han Solo.

I think, in the end, this film is missing something that the games have nailed. It’s difficult to say what it is, but perhaps it’s because the games are based on an existing script and story line? Whatever the reason, The Lego Movies is fun which you watch it, but not engaging or funny enough.

Review: Thor: The Dark World

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2013 by Tom Austin-Morgan

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The latest in the never-ending march of the Marvel Studios films was released in the UK last Wednesday after what seemed like an age since the first trailers and leaked posters. And it’s landed with a clap of thunder.

A lot of familiar faces are back from the first Thor film as well as Avengers Assemble including Chris Hemsworth & Tom Hiddleston as the titular God and his tricksy half-Brother Loki, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings & Stellan Skarsgård return as the group of scientists who are always on the lookout for the return of the extra-terrestrial Norse deities. The other Asgaardians are also back in the shape of Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo as Odin and Frigga, Thor and Loki’s parents; Idris Elba as the gatekeeper, Heimdall and the Warriors Four; Sif, Fandral, Volstagg & Hogun played by Jaimie Alexander, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson & Tadanobu Asano respectively.

In fact, the only notable new face is one you probably wouldn’t recognise at first glance as he is hidden under quite a lot of make up and speaks the majority of his lines in Elvish & with quite a deep voice modulation: Christopher Eccleston plays the Dark Elf leader, Malekith, whose race ruled the universe under a dark veil before the Asgaardians defeated them and brought light back the Nine Realms. All sound a bit sword-and-sandals and less super hero-y? That’s because Kenneth Branagh has been replaced by Alan Taylor as director. Taylor has most recently directed the ultimate fantasy TV series, Game of Thrones, which may explain the change in setting and tone.

In fact, the opening 30 minutes or so of Thor: The Dark World are a bit bleak and low on energy, even though Thor and his band of warriors are off battling evil across the Nine Realms while Jane Foster (Portman) and Darcy Lewis (Dennings) are trying to find both Thor and their professor, Erik Selvig, who has gone AWOL.

It’s only when things have gone really bad and Thor releases Loki from his cell in the dungeons (for his crimes against the universe in Avengers Assemble) that the film really picks up speed. Tom Hiddleston really does steal the entire film from everyone; the interplay between his character and Thor, who is limited by the character’s emotional range, is really funny but also highlights the fact that it’s easier to write for a slimy villain than for a benevolent character.

However, there are some comedy Thor moments, such as him having to ask for directions while in the Tube in London (where all the plot set on Earth is based). Though the directions he is given by the commuter are probably more laughable, if you know London! The majority of the laughs come from Loki though; as the God of Mischief he is the one able to let go and have real fun with his character, especially in the scene where he shape-shifts both himself and Thor a number of times. Darcy is there for comedic effect as well, but I found her injections somewhat forced and her character grated on me very quickly.

It was good to see both Natalie Portman and Idris Elba having more to do in their roles this time round as both their stars have risen since the first film. Elba has even become so famous outside the UK that they let Heimdall take his helmet off! He also has one of the more bad-ass action sequences as he single-handedly takes down a cloaked Elvish ship with nothing but his bare hands and a couple of daggers.

The action sequences are what make this film as the plot can be a little hard to keep up with if you aren’t ‘au fait’ with the Nordic character and place names, not to mention the plot about dimensions aligning and Malekith’s plan to bring darkness to the universe again using ‘The Aether’, a strange, almost sentient, fluid that infects a host body and wields untold power. The final fight sequence leaves you breathless but, thanks to the fact Taylor has kept the film under two hours, doesn’t drag on and on like quite a few of the big super hero films of late – even if it does span dimensions.

All in all the plot is a bit all-over-the-place (but this is a sci-fi/fantasy film after all); the costume, set and world designs are spell-binding and the action sequences are thrilling and tense. This is a worthy sequel, not better than the original, but different enough that it doesn’t matter. Who knows how far the character can be taken, but judging by the two post-credit sequences he will be back in at least the next Avengers film.

P.S. The first of the two post-credit scenes stars Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, who is tasked with looking after The Aether. He will be a main villain in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film due for release next year.  This film will be a mix of live action and animation with characters like Rocket Racoon (whose name speaks for itself) and Groot, a living tree. This has worried me since I heard about it as the whole universe started off based in semi-realism and seems to be heading in a very cartoonish direction. I will try to reserve judgement until a trailer is posted – but things are starting to look and sound a bit weird.

Roll on Captain America: Winter Soldier.